You’ve finally made the big decision. After what can seem like an eternity of creating requests for proposals, meeting software providers, posing detailed questions, and hosting internal meetings, the organization has chosen the technology solution that will take their business to the next level. The partnership has been created.
Now it’s time to focus on implementation.
While the process of selecting a technology solution is important, the implementation phase is critical because it’s the most visible to stakeholders. Everyone will be watching to make sure what is supposed to happen…does actually happen. Lisa Shea, assistant director of human resources at Subway, shared two essential actions for any technology roll-out:
- Document both the before and after processes. Karen Sones at First Horizon shared how they documented their entire recruiting and onboarding processes prior to implementation. The flow charts were used to mark which steps would be conducted in-person and which would happen online. First Horizon saw the benefit in determining their needs versus their wants.
- Create opportunities to be supportive. Shea said she and her team found they had to change lots of passwords during the process. They also had a period of time when employees received both paper paychecks and online info to provide a smooth transition.
- Look for things that you can keep the same. We all know change is hard. Loren Pofahl and Joe Johnson from Orchard Supply Hardware talked about finding ways to keep a few things the same. For example, they customized their new software with the corporate colors and used their corporate lingo. The reason? It makes people feel like the system is theirs – not someone else’s that they’ve bought or rented.
- Develop a communication strategy. Shea realized that each internal group within Subway needed a different message because they viewed the benefits and the challenges of the new system differently. Start with your own team. Don’t be afraid to over communicate. One tip that Shea said was very well received were one-page “how to” guides for using the system. Employees had access to answers when they needed them.
- Solicit feedback. First Horizon sends a 30-day new hire survey to receive feedback. Sones suggested including a new hire page on your system so employees could go to one place for all their initial needs.
All three of these companies shared that proper planning during implementation created very real results. They shared outcomes such as decreases in headcount due to paper reduction and drops in new hire turnover as much as 50%. Rolling out a new technology solution is hard work. And it can have its challenging moments. With proper planning and a great team, it will go smoothly and yield the results you’re looking for.